Chapter 4: The First Sundering of Damarkan

Desdemar and Onnus

As Kavak explored the cosmos, Onnus and Desdemar fell in love and were forever in each other's company. No feast in Paradorn could pass without them declaring their love for the other and the whole of Damarkan seemed to be filled with the radiance and beauty of the glowing Desdemar. Gort, however, also secretly loved her and he felt his heart bursting with pain at the sight of the two lovers and their happiness and withdrew to Herophet, where he hid himself away from the Aslah and felt a great rage build in his heart. It was during one of the great feasts at Paradorn that Gort could no longer contain himself and poured his heart out to Desdemar and declared his love for her. But she could not return it, for her love was for Onnus. In a blind rage, Gort's heart turned black and he struck Desdemar and thus was the harmony of Damarkan over.

Gort retreated to Herophet, where he stayed alone for a long time, until Voln managed to persuade him to see her. Being deceitful in nature, she used her silk tongue to entrap Gort, filling his mind with half-truths and blackening his heart further. Gort and Voln were soon lovers, though in truth there was little love between them. Gort's blackened thoughts were always upon Onnus and Desdemar and he began to hate them both.

With Voln's assistance, he set his will against them both and brought pain wherever there might be pleasure. He would sully their feasts with his poisonous tongue, spoil their solitude with his festering presence and destroy their harmony with his lies and deceit. And as Gort's thoughts blackened, so did Herophet, which became a fortress in his own image, dark and brooding, a solitary menace that few of the Aslah could bear to enter. In the deep dungeons of Herophet, Gort forged his own miracles, dark and foul creations that knew only of their master's hate and bile. Not even Voln was aware of what lurked deep beneath her, of the horrors that dwelt there.

The Aslah were soon filled with the joy of the news that Desdemar was to have the child of Onnus and a great feast was arranged. The news struck at the heart of Gort and a fury took him and he made his way to Onnus and Desdemar to murder them both. But Voln stayed him before any were aware of his intentions and used her guile to persuade him to wait until the child was born, when he would be able to murder it and the power of Onnus and Desdemar would be lessened. As the time for the great feast arrived, there was trepidation in Damarkan, for none knew the mood of Gort and all expected his poison tongue to blacken the day. However, Gort was at his most charming and told all of his pleasure for the two lovers.

To the Aslah, his mood was as of old and the darkness that had settled over Damarkan seemed lifted, as Gort charmed them until the birth of the child, a boy, Dayn. To further improve the mood, Onnus and Desdemar asked Gort to bless the child - a great honor - in the Birth Ceremony. Such was the fruition of Voln's plan, for during the ceremony, Gort grazed the child with a poisoned needle, unnoticed by the other Aslah, and after the ceremony and the feast that followed, the child fell ill. Shylar discovered the poison in the child's system, but could do nothing to save him and he died and all knew in their hearts that Gort was to blame for this horror.

All of the Aslah, except for Kavak, who was not to be found, and Desdemar, who was too frail with sorrow, and Voln, who was at Gort's side, marched to Herophet to confront Gort with their accusations of murder and stood before his gate. Onnus, the mightiest of the Aslah, called upon Gort to open his gates or have them, and the whole of Herophet, torn asunder. But none could have known the terror that lay deep within Herophet and when Gort opened his gates, his dark, deformed creations poured out and assaulted the unprepared Aslah, driving them back and burning everything that their fiery flesh touched. However, the Aslah drew upon their strength and power and the tide of the battle turned and Gort's minions were driven back. But Gort had planned for this and caused the very ground of Damarkan to burst open in geysers of boiling lava from far below the surface, the land collapsing in on itself, until the lands between Damarkan and Herophet were filled with a sea of rock and molten lava, which not even the Aslah dared cross.

Unable to control the power that he had unleashed, the rock was ripped asunder and Herophet and Damarkan split into two. As the two worlds disappeared from one another, Themex called upon the waters of Damarkan to rise and bridge the void with Herophet, but the violence of the sundering of Damarkan and Herophet was too great and both disappeared from the other and were never again to be joined. All that remained was a silver thread of water, a river, which bridged the divide and allowed the only means of direct travel between the two and was later to be called the River Mothex.

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